rul·​er | \ ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio) \

Definition of ruler

1 : one that rules specifically : sovereign
2 : a worker or a machine that rules paper
3 : a smooth-edged strip (as of wood or metal) that is usually marked off in units (such as inches) and is used as a straightedge or for measuring

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Other Words from ruler

rulership \ ˈrü-​lər-​ˌship How to pronounce rulership (audio) \ noun

Examples of ruler in a Sentence

a summit attended by a number of rulers from around the world This ruler shows inches and centimeters.

Recent Examples on the Web

Fathy is a former activist in the pro-democracy April 6 Movement, which was at the forefront of the 2011 the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Attorney says Egyptian activist to return to jail any time," 1 Jan. 2019 Islamic extremists expanded their reach in Libya after the 2011 uprising plunged the country into chaos and toppled and later killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi. Rami Musa, Fox News, "Libyan officials say unknown missiles hit Tripoli airport," 12 Sep. 2018 Elon Musk: a gee-whiz visionary King of electrons, ruler of space and a little over-the-top. Marshall Kilduff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Last Word: Elon Musk is a visionary in an era that needs one," 9 Feb. 2018 When a diviner from Korea informs the emperor that his son would be a bad ruler, Genji is demoted to the status of a commoner. Emily Ferguson, WSJ, "The Legacy of a Japanese Classic," 22 Feb. 2019 Afonso Dhlakama was born on Jan. 1, 1953, in the Sofala Province of central Mozambique, the son of a traditional ruler. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Afonso Dhlakama, Mozambique’s Opposition Leader, Dies at 65," 6 May 2018 Saudi rulers have welcomed Trump’s tough talk and pressure against rival Iran. Albert Aji, The Seattle Times, "Trump acceptance of Israeli control of Golan sparks protests," 26 Mar. 2019 Only diplomats, tourists and top Communist Party leaders had the privilege of using cell phones until 2008, when ruler Raúl Castro opened the doors to mass use. Mario J. Pentón, miamiherald, "Cubans on the island want to talk to you about refilling their phone minutes," 19 June 2018 The hope put forth by then-ruler Kim Il-Sung had been to build a hotel that would exemplify the country's robust tourism industry. Matt Levin, ELLE Decor, "North Korea's 'Hotel Of Doom' Is The Tallest Abandoned Building In The World," 22 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruler.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ruler

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ruler

Last Updated

9 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ruler

The first known use of ruler was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ruler



English Language Learners Definition of ruler

: a person (such as a king or queen) who rules a country, area, group, etc.
: a straight piece of plastic, wood, or metal that has marks on it to show units of length and that is used to measure things


rul·​er | \ ˈrü-lər How to pronounce ruler (audio) \

Kids Definition of ruler

1 : a person (as a king or queen) having supreme power over a nation
2 : a straight strip (as of plastic, wood, or metal) with a smooth edge that is marked off in units and used for measuring or as a guide in drawing straight lines

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More from Merriam-Webster on ruler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ruler

Spanish Central: Translation of ruler

Nglish: Translation of ruler for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ruler for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ruler

What made you want to look up ruler? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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